A devastating report by a Senate Republican committee concluded that the Biden administration has spent a minimum of approximately $2 billion to suspend construction of the wall on the southern border of the United States, in the midst of a deepening immigration crisis that could be mitigated if the work had continued.
The Republican-created report from the Government Operations and Border Management Subcommittee of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee found that efforts to suspend or terminate wall construction projects by the Department of Defense have cost between $1.8 billion and $2 billion in taxpayer dollars.
“These interim findings show that the Biden administration’s efforts to stop border wall construction constitute significant waste of taxpayer resources,” the report says. “As of the drafting of this report the Biden administration has paid border wall contractors at least $2 billion and counting to not build the border wall.”
This $2 billion comes directly from the Department of Defense (DOD) budget, which means it is an expense that will no longer be invested in the safety and security of Americans as originally planned.
The current President Biden decided to completely cancel the Trump-era wall project, despite the excellent results in controlling illegal immigration in the areas where the works are completed. During the previous administration, 450 miles (700 kilometers) were built and 350 miles (550 kilometers) more were financed for future construction.
On his first day in office and with contracts already in place, Biden issued an executive order to halt all construction projects related to the wall and conduct a review of the federal government’s obligations.
“In accordance with the president’s proclamation, the Department of Defense is proceeding to cancel all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions,” a Pentagon spokesman said in a statement.
DOD had $10 billion transferred from border wall construction and related projects, which was returned to be reallocated to other needs, White House officials reported. However, they failed to report that much of that money was already committed to payments to construction companies for the wall’s construction.
After the order to suspend construction, the committee found that the Defense Department was initially generating $6 million per day in “suspension costs,” that was reduced to $3 million after the layoffs but continues to this day. The money is being spent on “site security” projects.
“This means that the federal government is paying contractors on these seven projects $3 million per day to drive out to project sites and guard the unused pallets of steel and other construction materials,” the report said.
According to the report, the total amount spent could even exceed $2 billion due to uncertainties about plans for contracts procured by DHS.
In addition, the report indicates that the estimate of exactly how much is being wasted could be higher, as it does not take into account Department of Homeland Security accounts, as well as other costs associated with some of the DOD projects.